A day in the life of an Oracle Applications Consultant

Friday, February 25, 2005

Controlling Access to Concurrent Requests

This post discusses the profile option which controls access to concurrent requests used to view reports.

An important security consideration when implementing Oracle E-Business Suite is determining report access privileges. Control over reports generated in Oracle Apps via concurrent requests launched by the concurrent manager can be set via a profile option in System Administration.

According to the Oracle System Administrators User Guide: -

The profile option Concurrent:Report Access Level determines report output file and log file access privileges for your end users. As System Administrator, you can set this profile option to either “User” or “Responsibility.” All users can can review the log and report output files from requests that they submitted.

Setting the Concurrent:Report Access Level option to “Responsibility” at the User level allows that user to review the log and report output files from all requests submitted from the current responsibility. If you set the Concurrent:Report Access Level option to “Responsibility” at the Responsibility level, any user of that responsibility can also view the log and report output files from all requests submitted by any other user of that responsibility. Of course, if you want all users to see each other’s requests (i.e. no security) you can choose “User” at the Site level.

Standard Reports - Using Concurrent Manager

To review an online Oracle Tutor process flow diagram describing how to run and manage concurrent requests as well as secure the viewing of related output, visit this page at the University of Virginia’s site.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Enhancements to Oracle Metalink - my Configs & Projects

This post contains details of a new feature on Metalink, namely my Configurations and Projects.

My Configurations and Projects is a comprehensive set of enhancements to Oracle’s existing web support service. According to Oracle, this new feature provides the following functions: -

  • An environment to proactively exchange information between customer environment(s) and Oracle Product Support.
  • Tools and methodologies to automate and standardize information collection.
  • The ability to dynamically run Healthchecks to identify and prevent problems.

The my Configs and Projects section of Metalink is shown below (I don’t have any configs yet since I haven’t done the install)

A screen shot of the Metalink my configurations and projects

Typically your configurations will contain a description of a computer or a group of computers and the software those computers are running. On the other hand, projects will list activities defined by a customer describing business objectives involving Oracle products.

Oracle Support Agent

To provide you with the information for my Configs and Projects it is necessary to download and install the Oracle Support Agent.

According to Metalink: -

The Support Agent is a data collector agent designed to provide continuous tracking of key Oracle and system statistics of the machine it is running on. The support agent provides precise information to Oracle Support analysts so they can understand the problem and deal with it quickly and effectively. One support agent is required per machine running Oracle. Data collected by the support agent is sent via secured HTTP back to Oracle Support where we can maintain an updated view of your Oracle instance.

Key Benefits

  • Greatly reduce service request resolution time
  • View your latest platform and Oracle configuration online from MetaLink
  • Track which Oracle software components are out of date
  • Easy to deploy, install, and use

Key Features

  • Lightweight agent that consumes little CPU resources
  • Automatic discovery of Oracle and platform profiles at first start-up
  • Collects data from Host, Oracle 8i/9i database, Oracle iAS, and Oracle Applications 11i
  • Collects data at pre-defined intervals or by event threshold
  • Uses HTTPS protocol to communicate securely with Oracle

Support Agent Downloads

If you click the button highlighted in Green on the diagram you will be taken to a list of The following downloads are available from Metalink for the support agent (Metalink Password Required)


Based on the information gathered by Oracle Support Agent, a variety of Health Checks (dynamically generated reports) can be prepared in the following areas: -

  • Host HealthChecks 
  • 9i Application Server
  • EBS (eBusiness Suite)
  • Database Configuration

Concerned about Data Security?

Certainly, one of the key concerns for those using Oracle Support agent might be the security of data transmitted to Oracle and residing on their web site. Oracle’s response to this is as follows: -

  • Support Agent only collects configuration information; it does not collect business transactions, passwords, or control sensitive information
  • Configuration information is securely collected by encrypted internal upload or Oracle OCCN (VPN)
  • The Configuration Repository is located in the Oracle Intranet and protected by several firewalls
  • All uploads go through a series of validation checks before the configuration is viewable by MetaLink
  • No other customers are able to access your configuration data

Additional Reading and Learning

  • Metalink Note:250434.1 Learn More About My Configs & Projects - contains various web based tutorials/training slides
  • Metalink Note:236534.1 MySupport V1.0 Collection White Paper
  • If you are an Oracle Partner check out the presentations at

Lastly, I would be interested in receiving comments from anyone who has made use of this Oracle Support Tool. Certainly if your an organisation running a number of environments this would be a very useful way of monitoring and keeping track of them.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Journal AutoReverse Profile Option

This post highlights a profile option you need to be aware of when setting up AutoReversing journals.

Oracle Apps gives you the ability to manually or automatically reverse posted journals into subsequent accounting periods. We set up AutoReversing journals at a client site the other day so that the journal would automatically reverse in the next non adjusting accounting period i.e. if you were in period 12 of a year it would not reverse the entry in period 13 (an adjustment period) but rather into the first period of the next year. A typical example of where you might want to do this is in the case of an accrual that you raise at the end of month which you now want to reverse in a subsequent month - see the diagram below.

An example of how to set up Journal Reversal Criteria

Having completed the setup our expectation was that the journal would reverse when opening the next month (which is the trigger that runs the Automatic Reversal Programme). To our surprise the journals didn’t automatically reverse in the next month, however, the solution was a simple one. By setting the Profile option GL: Launch AutoReverse After Open Period to Yes we now found that when opening the next accounting period two concurrent requests were spawned, one to reverse the journal and another to post it (as enabled by selecting the AutoReverse and AutoPost Reversal options shown in the above diagram) . If you do forget to turn on this profile option as we did, you can still go and manually reverse the journal by choosing the following navigation path in General Ledger: Journals > Generate > Reversal. The result will be a list of journals which you can manually choose to reverse as shown in diagram below.

Use this form to manually reverse journals

Further Information

Also refer to these two processes documented using Oracle Tutor at the Enterprise Services Center Helpdesk

Friday, February 11, 2005

Connect Peoplesoft Conference to merge with Oracle OpenWorld

This post contains details of the merger between the Connect Peoplesoft Conference and Oracle OpenWorld Conference.

Having just merged the Oracle AppsWorld Conference into the Oracle OpenWorld event held in San Francisco in December 2004, Oracle now has another merger to deal with. In line with the Peoplesoft take over, Oracle has recently announced it is going to merge OpenWorld with Connect, Peoplesoft’s annual conference. The event will be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from September 18-22nd September, 2005 - I expect this will result in the mother of all conferences.

Of course, this begs the question will the various User Groups and Special Interest Groups (SIG’s) in existence merge as well? I guess it’s something that should be on their agendas.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tracking user activity with the Sign-On: Audit Level Profile Option

This post provides tips on how to monitor user activity online and via reports available in the system administration responsibility.

The online monitoring of user activity within Oracle Applications is achieved via the Monitor Users form (Form Name: FNDSCMON.fmx). The navigation path within the Sysadmin responsibility is Security > User > Monitor. In order to activate the capability of this form one has to select an appropriate option for the profile option Sign-On: Audit Level Profile Option. The available options are: -

  • NONE - No monitoring.
  • USER - Will only show you a list of logged in users.
  • RESPONSIBILITY - Will show you the user logged in and the responsibility they are using.
  • FORM - Will go down to the lowest level of detail and show you the User, Responsibility and Form being accessed.

The screen shot below indicates what you would see if you had chosen the FORM option for the profile option in question.

Audit user activity in your Oracle Application using this form

I like this feature since one look at this screen tells me exactly who is doing any work in the system at a particular point in time. If you are a DBA it’s quite useful to take a look at before you bounce or shutdown the system just to make sure everyone is logged out. My personal preference is to use the form option since this gives you more information than all the other options. Obviously there will be an impact on system performance if you use this option which you may have to consider. Depending on what audit level you have selected for the profile option under discussion you may also generate various reports as indicated below: -

  • Signon Audit Concurrent Requests Report - used to view information about who is requesting what concurrent requests and from which responsibilities and forms.
  • Signon Audit Forms Report - used to view who is navigating to what form and when they do it.
  • Signon Audit Responsibilities Report - used to view who is selecting what responsibility and when they are doing it.
  • Signon Audit Users Report - used to view who signs on and for how long.

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